The SAT can have as much impact on your college admissions outcome as your GPA. To improve your score, do practice problems every day.
The essays are the final piece of your application puzzle. You need to tell a compelling story that explains your world and conveys your passions.
In the spring of each year, we run free SAT prep classes in the inner city. We work with high school juniors and a few sophomores. Our classes meet on weekends and all of our teachers are volunteers.